Warren Coniam Gene Lee Gibson and Bentley Warren battle for position at Oswego Speedway International Classic

Classic Moments’ Countdown #4 Coniam Claims Second International Classic


1987 Budweiser International Classic

OSWEGO, NY (August 26, 2014) – As the countdown officially begins toward the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, August 31, we look back at the Top 30 moments in International Classic history, with the help of George Caruso’s 50 Most Memorable Moments of the International Classic.

With 4 days remaining until the International Classic, the countdown continues with No. 4, recapping Warren Coniam’s second International Classic win, this time driving for Joe Magari in 1987.

A few weeks before the ’87 Classic, Coniam did not even have a ride.  The Canadian Classic winner had parted ways with car owner Clyde Booth earlier in the season and hooked up with car owner Magari just prior to the Classic.

Bentley Warren, winner of the 1986 International Classic, had the plan of making a pit stop and coming back through the field.  After making his stop around lap 75, things were going according to plan for Warren as he easily took the second spot by lap 130.

However, trying to retake the race lead was a different story.

The point was now being occupied by second generation driver Gene Lee Gibson, aboard the Graves brothers house car.  Gibson was setting a torrid pace and refused to let Warren go by.

Warren finally wrestled the lead away from Gibson in traffic just past lap 170, while Coniam had quietly snuck up on the two front-runners as they battled.

Later Warren came up on the lapped machine of Mike Muldoon and struggled to clear him.  In trying to do so, Warren lost the lead back to Gibson.  Now in the lead, Gibson also struggled to clear Muldoon.  It was at this point that Coniam began his charge.

Warren Coniam Gene Lee Gibson and Bentley Warren battle for position at Oswego Speedway International Classic
Warren Coniam works Gene Lee Gibson and Mike Muldoon on his way to the 1987 International Classic lead. (Speedway Press)

Coniam was able to drive by Warren and then take the lead from Gibson, but now the issue again arose of trying to clear the lapped Muldoon.

Coniam was finally able to clear Muldoon on the outside at lap 182, but the drama was not over yet.

As the race wore to its conclusion, cautions would wave, pushing the race past the 200 lap mark for the first time with the newly instituted green-white-checkered finish rule.

Owner Magari nervously watched at the conclusion as his No. 10 roadster coasted across the line as the winner of the ’87 Classic with Coniam aboard.

Victory lane was a jubilant scene as Coniam delivered Magari his first big win and Coniam later hung up his helmet in retirement as a Classic champion.

Doug Didero would come on to finish second in the ’87 Classic ahead of Joe Gosek, Warren, and Steve Gioia Jr. in the top five.

Gary Morton, Jamie Moore, Danny Soule, Gibson, and Muldoon were the top ten runners.

To purchase tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend and the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200, call the Speedway’s box office today at (315) 342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’.

50 years Oswego Speedway International Classic
Learn more about the International Classic in this book available from our friends at Coastal181.com

CLICK HERE

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 About Oswego Speedway: Oswego Speedway, a sports entertainment company, is a 5/8 mile semi-banked pavement racing oval located off the shores of Lake Ontario in scenic Oswego, NY. Oswego Speedway has been a continuously run weekly racing venue since August, 1951. The premier open-wheel pavement short track cars in the world, Supermodifieds, run weekly at Oswego Speedway making Oswego the only weekly Supermodified racing venue in the world. The Small Block Supermodifieds accompany the full-blown Supers on a weekly Saturday night schedule which runs from May through September. Oswego Speedway is mentioned in racing circles as the “Indy of the East,” as no fewer than a dozen past and present competitors have competed at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway including Mario Andretti, arguably the greatest driver of all time, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, along with former International Classic Champions Bentley Warren, Joe Gosek, and Davey Hamilton.

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Jim Shampine cheers on Warren Coniam in the 1979 International Classic. Speedway Press Photo

Jim Shampine cheers on Warren Coniam in the 1979 International Classic. Speedway Press Photo

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